What can I do to improve my mental health?
Your emotional health is a key player in your overall health. For more information on improving your mental wellness, check out our resources page.
Take care of your physical health
It should go without saying that you need to feed your body nutritious food to give it the energy it needs to keep you going. There is no single diet that works for everyone’s lifestyle, but there are a few basic rules that we should all adhere to where nutrition is concerned. For optimal health, fill your fridge and stock your pantry with fruits and vegetables (fresh or frozen), lean protein, whole grains, raw or roasted nuts (avoid sugared and salted varieties), and a minimal amount of processed foods.
Self-care can have a lot of different meanings depending on who you ask because it’s a very personal thing. At the heart of it, self-care is simply the idea that you should be taking time out of your day for yourself, whether that involves taking a hot bath, cooking your favorite meal, or squeezing in a power nap.
Practice healthy coping skills
When we’re feeling overwhelmed, it’s easy to turn to unhealthy ways of dealing with stress, like drinking alcohol, smoking cigarettes, eating junk food, or just holding onto negative emotions. Instead, it’s important to find ways to identify healthy coping techniques that work for us, be it meditation, exercise, or working with a counselor to sort through our issues.
It’s often easier said than done, but actively finding ways to decompress is a critical factor in achieving balance. Try not to wait until the end of the day to set time aside for relaxation. Incorporate even short periods of listening to your favorite music, watching uplifting videos, or spending time in nature throughout the day to keep your spirit high.
Set realistic goals
Sometimes, we really are our own worst enemy, especially when it comes to setting standards for ourselves or finish lines to cross. It’s important to have goals, but don’t set yourself up for failure by setting unrealistic expectations for yourself. For example, rather than vow to be the CEO of your company in 12 months, aim to earn a promotion or take on new projects that are more within reach. You have plenty of time to reach your dream destination, but telling yourself you need to be there in an unfeasible amount of time will only burden you.
Eliminate negative self-talk
You should be your biggest champion. While it’s important to realize where you have potential to grow, plaguing your mind with doubt and negativity about your abilities is a toxic way of thinking. When you feel your inner voice saying something negative, turn your thinking around into something positive and constructive. For example, rather than telling yourself, “I’m not talented enough to earn the job I want to apply for,” be more encouraging with, “There may be a lot of competition for this position, but I deserve it and would do a fantastic job, so I should go for it even if I don’t get it this time.”
Don’t be afraid to reach out for help
We don’t hesitate to seek the help of a professional when we aren’t physically feeling our best, and that same logic should be applied when we’re feeling emotionally imbalanced. A counselor or therapist can be the missing piece between feeling completely overwhelmed and feeling stable, so if you think that’s what you need, reach out for help — and be proud for taking a critical step toward emotional wellness.